The 20 Worst Wedding Songs to Avoid!

The 20 Worst Wedding Songs to Avoid!

Whether your joke of playing an ironically anti-romantic dirge doesn't quite land, or your use of an old novelty song for intended kitsch value reminds your friends why they destroyed their copies years ago, nothing will clear the dance floor at your wedding quite as effectively as an inappropriate wedding song!

Everyone has their own definition of what makes a wedding song appropriate or inappropriate, and everyone wants their wedding music to reflect them as a fun, unique couple - but most importantly, everyone wants their wedding guests to enjoy themselves.

Regardless of personal taste, there are some songs out there which are objectively unsuitable for weddings. This can be down to lyrical content, song length, musical style and more - so we've put a handy guide together of the worst offenders to help you avoid committing these wedding music faux pas:

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1. Crashed The Wedding - Busted

The Busted Boys may have proclaimed that 'true love lasts forever', but as the song is based on the scene from 'the Graduate' where Dustin Hoffman literally crashes a wedding at the very last minute, this song will have the poor groom looking over his shoulder for the rest of the day!

It also wouldn't be very fair to insult the groom's efforts: neither 'the ring she got was lame', 'she couldn't take the pain' nor 'she didn't want a silly second name' would lead him to remember your special day as fondly as he should.

  • Crashed The Wedding - BustedCrashed The Wedding - Busted

2. Mambo No.5 - Lou Bega

From a purely musical point of view, this song really swings. Unfortunately, from the long list of ladies he mentions in the chorus, so does the songwriter!

'Mambo No.5' may well be a guaranteed floor filler at any given party, but a monogamist's anthem it ain't. Your brand new bride won't want to hear that a little bit of Rita's all you need (unless of course that's her name), so unless you arrange to have every name in the song changed to your wife's, leave this one off your wedding playlist.

  • Mambo No.5 - Lou BegaMambo No.5 - Lou Bega

3. That Don't Impress Me Much - Shania Twain

Shania Twain's vicious takedown of patronising, vain and car-obsessed men is admittedly a fun, danceable country-rock classic - but surely your new husband will have already suffered his fair share of ribbing during the best man's speech!

Why not leave accusations like 'oh, you think you're special' and 'oh, you think you're something else' at the door and instead celebrate your partner's more positive features - 'You're Beautiful' by James Blunt should do the trick!

  • That Don't Impress Me Much - Shania TwainThat Don't Impress Me Much - Shania Twain

4. Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd

Sung from the perspective of a man with an unquenchable thirst for freedom, playing 'Free Bird' on your wedding day won't exactly give your new spouse the impression that you're in this for the long haul.

If the subject matter alone isn't enough to put you off, please at least heed this piece of advice: definitely avoid the album version, which, clocking in at an epic 9:08 minutes, would be sure to put blisters on the soles of even the most hard-rocking feet. It's not worth it just to let your uncle rock out to the guitar solo!

  • Free Bird - Lynyrd SkynyrdFree Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd

5. Every Breath You Take - The Police

One of the most commonly misunderstood songs to date, 'Every Breath You Take' is not in fact a declaration of true love and dedication, but an exploration of the jealousy and obsession experienced after losing a lover; songwriter Sting was, in his own words, 'thinking of Big Brother, surveillance and control.'

Understanding the true sentiment behind such lyrics as 'I'll be watching you' and 'you belong to me' changes the intimate, romantic atmosphere that the music creates into something much darker - hardly the right way to start your marriage!

  • Every Breath You Take - The PoliceEvery Breath You Take - The Police

6. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division

A bleak parody of the ultra-upbeat 'Love Will Keep Us Together', Joy Division's biggest hit offered a frank - at times uncomfortably so - insight into singer Ian Curtis's failing marriage. 

Sure, it's got a great beat and an even greater bass hook (courtesy of bassist Peter Hook - coincidence? We think not!), but do you really want your wedding guests dancing away to such heartbreaking laments as 'something so good just can't function no more'? Definitely don't choose this for your first dance song!

  • Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy DivisionLove Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division

7. Someone Like You - Adele

Adele has an undeniably beautiful voice, but we're not so sure a wedding is the right place to hear it - in fact, it's probably one of the worst wedding songs you could possibly pick!

Ballads in general don't exactly get people's toes tapping, and this song in particular is just so, so sad - you only want happy tears on your special day! Besides, why would you want to find someone like your partner when you've already found each other?

  • Someone Like You - AdeleSomeone Like You - Adele

8. The End - the Doors

At the start of your new life together, surely the end is the last place you want to be looking towards!

Even though there is a certain intimacy to Jim Morrison calling you his 'only friend', this singular positive is outweighed by a slew of negatives: it's got a slow, experimental beat which your guests will probably struggle to dance to, it's a sprawling 11:41 minutes in length, and its infamous spoken-word middle section isn't exactly table talk.

  • The End - the DoorsThe End - the Doors

9. The One I Love - R.E.M.

Another song that's been misinterpreted ever since its release in 1987, it becomes clear that R.E.M.'s hit single is not in fact a love song after the opening line, which is followed by the far less 'this one goes out to the one I left behind'. If you leave the one you love behind on your wedding day, there'll be no end of trouble!

If you're worried your wedding reception wouldn't be complete without that iconic jangly riff, you'd be much better off playing 'What's the Story? (Morning Glory)' by Oasis - they borrowed it!

  • The One I Love - R.E.M.The One I Love - R.E.M.

10. Love Is a Losing Game - Amy Winehouse

Anyone whose life was as beset with heartbreak as Amy Winehouse can be forgiven for losing their faith in love - but this isn't a feeling you want anybody to be reminded of in the wake of your wedding.

Many of Winehouse's greatest songs draw inspiration from doomed romances, but if love is even a game at all, you want your guests to know that you're winning it today! Cheer everyone up and put 'Valerie' on instead.

  • Love Is a Losing Game - Amy WinehouseLove Is a Losing Game - Amy Winehouse

11. Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley

We might be reading too much into this, but we highly doubt that either member of a happy couple should describe their love as being 'caught in a trap' - and doing so can't really be justified by hastily adding 'because I love you too much, baby'.

While there is a tenderness to Elvis Presley's signature deep warble, there's a wealth of other love songs you can choose from which won't cast any doubt over your mutual trust. We wouldn't recommend calling your partner 'nothing but a Hound Dog' either, though.

  • Suspicious Minds - Elvis PresleySuspicious Minds - Elvis Presley

12. Hey Ya! - Outkast

Rarely a club night has gone by since 2003 without shakin' it to Outkast's unstoppable hit - but after reading the lyrics, you might think twice about playing it on your wedding day!

It's easy to miss the unhappy message behind André 3000's rapid-fire delivery and that oh-so-irresistible beat. André even acknowledges this himself in the song - after asking why he and his significant other are 'so in denial when we know we're not happy here?', he shrugs it off with a 'y'all don't wanna hear me, you just wanna dance!'. He's got a point!

  • Hey Ya! - OutkastHey Ya! - Outkast

13. God Only Knows - The Beach Boys

Any song that starts with 'I may not always love you' should raise a red flag or two!

While during the song's plaintive 'God only know what I'd be without you' refrain the Boys sound appropriately appreciative of the one they love, it's not really in the spirit of a wedding to speculate on what would happen 'if you should ever leave me' - making this song a wedding music faux pas in disguise.

  • God Only Knows - The Beach BoysGod Only Knows - The Beach Boys

14. Tammy Wynette - D.I.V.O.R.C.E.

Here's one word you certainly shouldn't utter in the presence of newlyweds - even if you only say the letters!

Most people at your wedding ceremony will be old enough to figure out what Tammy Wynette is singing about, so there's no hiding the rather on-the-nose message behind this country and western spelling lesson.

  • Tammy Wynette - D.I.V.O.R.C.E.Tammy Wynette - D.I.V.O.R.C.E.

15. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2

Don't be fooled into thinking that the Edge's wistful, uplifting guitar playing and Bono's soaring, spiritual vocal melodies mean that this search for meaning is in any way a love song. What you're looking for will be right there in front of you from the wedding procession onwards!

There are a few no-nos from Bono & Co; 'With or Without You' also gets a hard pass - for the same reason.

  • I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2

16. Gold Digger - Kanye West ft. Jamie Foxx

Mr West paints a particularly negative portrayal of a marriage in his hugely successful single - but not even Jamie Foxx's spot-on Ray Charles impersonation saves it from our list.

The last thing you want to accuse your partner of is only being in it for the money, mere hours after you declare your undying love for one another. Plus, West's ominous repetition of 'eighteen years, eighteen years' makes a marriage sound more like a prison sentence - we want you to look forward to your future together, not chalk up each day on the wall!

  • Gold Digger - Kanye West ft. Jamie FoxxGold Digger - Kanye West ft. Jamie Foxx

17. I Knew You Were Trouble - Taylor Swift

Whenever you hear a Taylor tune come on, there's a good chance it's a breakup song - it's kind of her whole deal. This song is no exception - the spoken word intro is a dead giveaway.

It's catchy as anything - it's impossible not to join in with the 'trouble, trouble, trouble' bit - but today isn't about bad decisions made in the past; it's about great decisions about your future.

  • I Knew You Were Trouble - Taylor SwiftI Knew You Were Trouble - Taylor Swift

18. Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler

Nothing can eclipse your hearts on your wedding day, not even Bonnie Tyler!

While adding this song to your wedding playlist might elicit a few dramatic turns on the dance floor from your more theatrical guests, nothing puts a damper on the love that's in the air quite like the line 'once upon a time I was falling in love, now I'm only falling apart.'

  • Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie TylerTotal Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler

19. Macarena - Los del Río

Unless you're fluent in Spanish, you could be forgiven for believing that this is nothing but a fun, family-friendly party song with a ready-made dance routine. This couldn't be further from the truth!

Who'd've thought that the dance song that inspired a worldwide craze was actually celebrating a girl (the titular Macarena) who cheats on her boyfriend while he's away fighting in the army? That's not the sort of thing you want to be celebrating with someone you've just promised to be faithful to for the rest of your life!

  • Macarena - Los del RíoMacarena - Los del Río

And finally...

20. The Birdie Song - the Tweets

If there's one way of ensuring you'll be tarred and feathered on your wedding day, it's by committing this crime against music - playing the Birdie Song (also known as the Chicken Dance). Whatever name it goes by, it deserves to be stricken from wedding playlists the world over!

Voted 'most annoying song of all time' back in 2000, this song has only grown in notoriety over the years. Just ask yourself - do you really want to see your closest friends and family dancing like chickens? If the answer is yes, just prepare yourself to not receive an invitation to the next wedding!

  • The Birdie Song - the TweetsThe Birdie Song - the Tweets